6/28/17 – Today, love hurts a little bit. I’m not sure why I get into moods of self-sabotage where I want to delete every remnant proving that someone else matters. I’ll go through my phone photos and delete everything, remove all the texts, clear the call logs and hope that this erasure can convince me that other people don’t have much weight on my happiness. I’m doing it now because the love that I have isn’t being reciprocated in the same form, but that’s silly, isn’t it?
Why do I expect love to come to me in forms that I need to recognize? Why am I looking for people to give me words that they don’t mean, or can’t feel? Why is friendship on its own not enough for me? I don’t have the answers to any of this questions. Maybe I’m afraid that a love like this will never come again. I’m 20 years young and so much has changed in the last 3 months, yet somehow I’m convinced that meaningful relationships will evade me for the rest of my life. Maybe I don’t know how to let people in – maybe I don’t want to. Because the second that happiness comes, I find that people are in the business of saying goodbye soon after and I’ve never been good at these conversations. How am I supposed to just walk away from people who clearly matter to me? But people have to move on and pursue their dreams of being doctors and educators and engineers, and I can’t stop them. I know that this is an extreme way to approach relationships (either loving people completely or dropping them), but I don’t know what else to do.
The last time I experienced heartbreak, I realized that I didn’t know how badly I needed to love myself. And once I learned to love myself, I surrounded myself with people who loved me back, and who showed up for things that mattered like the monologues or my tutoring sessions or my final presentations. I found that these kinds of people can introduce moments of pure elation and teach me about myself but also how to have productive relationships that elevated me. But no one is ever as good as you, I think.
I’m still trying to figure out what kind of love is actually best for me. Is it yours? Is it me loving myself? Or love that I lost that will never be reciprocated in the same form?
Well, this is confusing. Clearly, I have some deep-rooted insecurities in relationships, which is fine and we’ve been working through them slowly but surely. But I think something happens when those feelings aren’t reciprocated – maybe I realize that I’m giving too much to people who feel too little about me, and it doesn’t seem fair or right. Maybe that’s what’s happening now – I finally see that I care more, and I think I feel insecure about it. That’s dumb though, right? Because clearly we’re friends and there’s unconditional positive regard because we want to see the other person thrive by our side, so isn’t that enough? Doesn’t that mean something? Maybe I’m in sulking self-sabotage and/or I’m in desperate need of myself.
There must be more to this life than hurting. I know that because my days are full of life, or creative problem solvers who are trying to be someone and projects where I get to decide what kind of skills I want to develop. This will pass, the way it always does. I’ve managed to stop crying and once I sleep on it and realize that the sun has risen, I know that I was made to handle this too.
healing will keep coming in waves – life self-love, it is an everyday act.
a little follow-up:
love has always been in my life, but in forms I didn’t always recognize. For so long, I struggled to be emotionally vulnerable with people who really mattered – if they saw the real me, I thought they would run for the hills before even trying to unpack my baggage. I thought the waterworks would drown anyone away because I don’t have it all together despite my best efforts to work through feelings in a poetic/productive way – so far, both of those things have evaded me.
So, I’ve been pushing people away for a long time. I can’t tell you what instinct leads me to do this because I haven’t quite figured it out. I find ways to destroy even the most productive relationships. I’ll find reasons to be angry and disprove all the times they showed up for me, even though they’ve embodied unconditional love in every interaction – and that couldn’t be more true this time as well.
Today, I’m realizing that love doesn’t need to show up in familiar forms. It doesn’t have to be “like like” romantic in the ways that everyone talks about – it just needs to offer some form of mutual unconditional love, the good kind of love where you want to see the other person achieve their goals and be genuinely fulfilled and even if you can’t be there every single moment, you are there when you can be.
Maybe I’m not used to this. Or maybe, when love like this arrives, I start searching for an expiration date because things that are so good never last for too long. It’s a defense mechanism because the last thing I want is to get hurt again. I don’t know why this is the default, to push people aware who genuinely care. Maybe it’s the only thing about relationships that I’m really good at : getting ove rit.
It doesn’t have to be like this. I don’t have to push people away like this, and it’s a lesson that I’m still learning. People can contribute to my life significantly, and I don’t have to be afraid of this. The root of suffering is not attachment, as I believed for so long. Love does not have to hurt and follow rigid definitions that have been crowdsourced and adapted in response. Love, like friendship, shouldn’t require strategy.